This is once again my MIL’s recipe that belongs to the South Arcot Cuisine, which slightly differs from the usual Peerkangai kootu that my mom used to make at home that involved some grinding. But this kootu recipe needs no grinding and has the most unique flavor and taste. Peerakangai is a vegetable that I happen to love as no part of it goes waste. The peel can be used to make Thogayal
(chutney) and the rest of the vegetable also gets used well. In my MIL’s place, a dish that has ground coconut paste is referred as a kootu and the one without, which can be had as a main dish with rice and also as a side dish like the kootu is referred as “Oorpu”.
|Peerkangai Oorpu / Ridge Gourd Dal||
Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 25 mins | Serves: 4
- Peerkangai (Ridge Gourd) – 500 gms
- Tur dal (Pigeon Peas) – 1/2 cup
- Onion, medium – 1
- Tomato, medium – 1
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
- Whole dry red chili – 2
- Sambar powder – 2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
- Fresh grated coconut – 3 tbsp
- Black pepper corns – 5 to 6
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
- Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 2 tsp
1. Wash Peerkangai (Ridge Gourd) and trim the edges. Scrape the skin completely and chop the vegetable finely. Chop the onion and tomato finely and keep aside.
2. Pressure cook tur dal (pigeon peas) in enough water, turmeric powder. Mash well and keep aside.
3. Heat a pan with oil. Add mustard seeds and when it crackles, add broken whole dry red chili, urad dal and when it turns golden brown, add onion and sauté till it turns translucent.
4. Add tomatoes, chopped peerkangai and sauté till they wilt. Add 1/4 cup water, salt, sambar powder
, mix well and close with and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. (You can also add the water used to cook tur dal if you happen to have in excess).
5. Add mashed dal, more water if needed to get the thick consistency, mix well and let it cook for another 3-4 minutes over low flame.
6. In a mortar, using the pestle crush the whole pepper corns coarsely and keep it ready. Do this just before adding to the gravy and not before hand, as the flavor of the pepper is very important.
7. Now mix in grated coconut, crushed pepper corns, curry leaves, coriander leaves and transfer to the serving bowl. Close with a lid and leave it for 5 minutes for the all the flavors to mingle and set.
8. You can have this dal (gravy) by mixing it with rice and enjoy with a side dish
or serve this as a side dish to any sambar
rice as a kootu.